Now, deadly hornets from Asia that measure up to 2 inches long have been found for the first time in the US — and researchers are worried they’re colonizing.
The aggressive insects, nicknamed “murder hornets,” can wipe out bee colonies within hours and have stingers long and powerful enough to puncture beekeeping suits.
Beekeepers in Washington have already seen the hornets devastate their hives; Japan attributes 50 human deaths a year to the nasty buzzers, which have “teardrop eyes like Spider-Man, orange and black stripes that extend down its body like a tiger, and broad, wispy wings like a small dragonfly,” according to the New York Times.
Researchers are determined to keep the hornets in check.
“This is our window to keep it from establishing,” Washington state entomologist Chris Looney told the Times. “If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done.”